There is a lot of controversy about teacher incentives and how we motivate teachers to do a better job with our students. Somehow there is the belief that teachers should be able to overcome any obstacles to make students learn. Fine. Now the staet is involved in seeking money from the government in the “Race to the Top” which has a requirement that the proposal has included teacher incentive pay or bonuses. Incentives will create exactly the opposite of what we want for our children.
The USA has always excelled in the area of creativity. For many years the Japanese have recognized that while their students excel in tests, our students become the entrepeneurs and inventors. Americans are known for their divergent thinking and creativity. Teacher incentive pay will “dumb down” our society as teachers focus more and more on creating good test takers rather than good problem solvers. Why is it that the people in charge pay no attention to what is well known by researchers? Please view this video by former Gore speech writer, Dan Pink. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html